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The Abortion Lobby Ploy

January 3, 2014 Featured Today 1 Comment


If you have not yet been confronted with the following ploy by a pro-abortion activist, you will be soon enough. The “pro-choice” folks think they have come up with a clever way to disarm those who disagree with them. What I have in mind is the way the concepts of “religious freedom” and “freedom of conscience” are manipulated to make it seem that a Catholic hospital is violating basic human rights, rights protected by American law, when it refuses to perform an abortion for a woman who wants to end her pregnancy.
The line they use is one version or another of the following: “If a Catholic hospital refuses to perform an abortion for an American woman, they are denying her one of her basic rights as an American. In this clash between the religious beliefs of the Catholic hospital and the freedom of conscience of the woman, it is wrong for our government to choose sides, especially when government money is being sent to the hospital in the form of direct aid or the health-care subsidies the government provides for the patients using the hospital, or both. The woman’s freedom of conscience is just as valid and important as that of the people who run the Catholic hospital.”
We can see the tactic unfold in the recent suit initiated by the ACLU against the U.S. Catholic bishops over the case of Tamesha Means, a woman who was receiving treatment for a pregnancy-related problem at Mercy Health Partners, a Catholic hospital in Muskegon, Mich. The ACLU charged that an abortion is the consensus method in the modern medical profession to deal with Means’ circumstance, and that an abortion would have been performed at any hospital other than a Catholic hospital in a situation like hers. The ACLU’s goal is to use the law and the power of the state to force Mercy Health Partners to perform the abortion.
The editors of the online edition of National Review point out that the issue in this suit is not legalized abortion, that there is an abortionist “two blocks away from the main Mercy Health campus,” and “that the issue is not whether those who wish to avail themselves of certain services will be able to, but that those who object to them must be forced to participate.”
It can make your head spin. The pro-abortion movement began under the banner of freedom of conscience and toleration; it is now, as National Review phrases it, “a demand for moral conformity” with their point of view. “The Left is live-and-let-live when it is trying to have one of its pet causes legalized, after which it seeks to use the police authority to ensure that its desires are not only tolerated but subsidized and participation in them made mandatory….The pro-abortion lobby began by saying, ‘If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one.’ But it does not seem to have occurred to them that if they don’t like Catholic hospitals, they should go somewhere else.”
What is the short answer to the ACLU’s position that there is a moral equivalence that must be respected between Tamesha Means’ freedom of conscience to choose an abortion and the Catholic hospital’s freedom of conscience not to perform the procedure? A simple denial. There is no moral equivalence. If Means is denied an abortion at a Catholic hospital, it does not mean that she will forced to behave in what she believes is an immoral manner. She will be inconvenienced. She will be obliged to go to some other facility to have her pregnancy ended, in this case one only a few blocks away from the Catholic hospital.
The situation is entirely different for the Catholic hospital and the Catholic doctor she seeks to force to perform an abortion on her. If they perform an abortion, in their eyes they are committing murder, taking the life of an innocent unborn child. They are violating God’s law, committing a mortal sin, putting their souls at risk. This is a big difference; a difference not in degree, but in kind.
The “no establishment clause” in the First Amendment to the Constitution was designed precisely to prevent citizens of the United States from being forced into such a moral dilemma. They were not to be forced to worship in a church not of their choosing, to perform religious rituals and make professions of faith that they felt would endanger their eternal salvation. There was nothing as trivial in the eyes of the Framers as seeking to guarantee them that they would not be inconvenienced in the manner that Means was being inconvenienced by having to get her abortion somewhere other than at a Catholic hospital.
Let us try an analogy to make the point: The Framers would have laughed at the notion that an amendment to the Constitution should be written to force Protestant churches to keep their doors open and their sanctuaries adapted for the Catholic Mass, so that the Catholics living in the vicinity would not have to go to the trouble of walking three blocks to a Catholic church down the street to attend Mass.
And vice-versa: The Founders would not have spent a second considering the idea that Catholic churches should be required by the force of law to leave room on their calendar for Protestant services where sermons hostile to the sacraments were preached, so as not to inconvenience Protestants living nearby.
I insist that this is a fair and precise analogy to what the ACLU is demanding of the Catholic hospital in Muskegon regarding Means’ abortion. If the ACLU and the pro-abortion forces cannot see that, they are either being deliberately deceptive to carry the day in the court of public opinion, or their ability to think clearly on this matter has been impaired by their ideological zeal.

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  • Dr Rosemary McHugh

    “Means, then 27 and a mother of two, sought care at Mercy Health Partners — the only hospital in her county — after her water broke prematurely. She was given medication and sent home twice in two days, she claims in the suit, though she arrived the second time ‘bleeding and with painful contractions.’
    On a third trip to the hospital, Means was in even more pain and ‘suffering a significant infection,’according to the ACLU, and was about to be sent home again when she began going into labor.”
    Read more:

    John, I am a physician who is a Catholic, and I have delivered many babies, in Ireland, in England, and in Chicago, which is my home. After reading about this case, it is not a good example of a woman wanting an abortion for social reasons. This woman presented with a threatened miscarriage, also called a threatened abortion, which became an inevitable miscarriage, also termed an inevitable abortion.
    I believe that this case was mismanaged by the medical/obstetrical team. Even in a Catholic hospital, a woman who is having what is called an inevitable abortion/inevitable miscarriage is given the care to help her complete the abortion/miscarriage.
    Unfortunately we use the words miscarriage and abortion interchangeably. Sadly, when the word abortion is used for a miscarriage, it is misinterpreted as meaning a deliberate termination of life in a healthy pregnancy. As far as I understand the facts in this case, the patient was having an inevitable abortion, with no chance of the 18 week old fetus surviving, and the medical team did not give her the care that she needed, which is routine even in a Catholic hospital.
    Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, M.D., Chicago

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